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Woman keeps world

Discussion in 'Exotic Mammals' started by Vicki, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Woman keeps world’s largest rodent as a pet

    Woman keeps world’s largest rodent as a pet
    The 100-pound capybara snuggles with owner, performs tricks for treats


    Caplin Rous relishes snuggling in bed, going to the pet store with his owner and doing tricks like sitting and shaking for treats.

    He might sound like your typical dog, but guess again. He's actually a capybara, otherwise known as the largest rodent species on earth.

    "People hear the word rodent and they think it's some kind of a dirty word," Caplin's owner, Melanie Typaldos, tells PEOPLEPets.com. "But many of them are very smart, clean, loving animals."

    Caplin Rous, (his second name is an acronym for "rodent of unusual size," a reference from the movie "The Princess Bride") is all those things — although Typaldos warns that she wouldn't recommend him as a pet for just anyone.

    Although he's extremely loyal and a perfect gentleman in public, he can be territorial at home, sometimes trying to bite visitors he doesn't like. He also requires a very large grazing area because he munches on grass most of the day and the semi-aquatic animal requires daily dips in a pool or other body of water.

    Fortunately, Typaldos and her husband provide the perfect living conditions for the 100-pound rodent. They live in rural Buda, Texas, with acres of open space filled with pesticide-free grass, as well as a pool outside and an oversized tub inside to satisfy his swimming needs. Typaldos says Caplin springs to life in the water, playfully dunking his toys or sticking his head through his favorite inner tube (specially stuffed with aqua noodles so he doesn't puncture it with his sharp teeth.)

    When he's not swimming or eating, Caplin is typically following his master around and softly makes a sound akin to an "eep" whenever they are separated.

    "He's very needy but I love him to death," says Typaldos. "He's very affectionate. He loves to lick my face and forehead and just follow me around everywhere."

    Typaldos credits her adult daughter, Coral, with helping her appreciate these oversized creatures while on a trip to Venezuela several years back. When they returned home, Coral begged her mom to get a capybara on her behalf, since she lived in an apartment and traveled a lot and couldn't care for one herself. Typaldos found Caplin through a Texas breeder two and a half years ago when he was just 11 days old. Once at her home, she worked with him consistently for three months to get him accustomed to domesticated life. (And yes, Caplin is housebroken, and does his business in an oversized water bowl in the family bathroom.)

    Today, with Typaldos' help, Caplin has become an ambassador for the species. She often takes him into local schools for wildlife talks, and loves taking him out in public to pet-friendly places, like outdoor eateries or even independent bookstores. Unsurprisingly, Caplin draws a crowd wherever he goes.

    "Mostly people are just stunned and amazed," Typaldos reports. "People literally stop their cars in the street and want to take a picture with him ... When we're in public, he will tolerate anything. Sometimes kids will surround him to the point that he can hardly move and he's completely calm."

    Typaldos is also dedicated to educating the world at large about capybaras since she discovered there was little online information about keeping one as a pet. Today, she manages Caplin's Facebook account, Twitter account (@CaplinRous) and his blog, gianthamster.com.

    As a full time software engineer, Typaldos admits it's a lot of work caring for Caplin and keeping up with all his online endeavors, but it is a true labor of love.

    "He's so smart and I absolutely just love him," she says. "Being with him is just a lot of fun."

    Woman keeps world’s largest rodent as a pet
  2. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Here kitty, kitty........
  3. Galadriel

    Galadriel Good Dog

    Awwww, I love capybara and have always thought it would be neat to have one. I'd feel bad about having just one though. They're herd animals and very social. She was actually on an AP or Nat Geo special not too long ago.
  4. JPop

    JPop Little Dog

    I agree, that pic creeped me out, I first thought it might be a photoshop thing.
    They have what may be a group of these rodents at the Bronx Zoo, and they SMELL......BAD!!!......I couldn't imagine living w/one.
  5. Jackson115

    Jackson115 Little Dog

    Ugh if I were her neighbor and I saw that thing on my property I'd be pulling out a rifle. Can't imagine living with that THING in my house...that's the best I can call it...
  6. Koley

    Koley Little Dog

    awwww I think its kinda cute lol.
  7. Debbie

    Debbie Good Dog

    I'm just trying to envision him squatting over a big water bowl to go to the bathroom.....I wonder how many times he misses the bowl....and I think cleaning a litter box is bad. :lol:
  8. DoomsDayPits

    DoomsDayPits Little Dog

    i agree its kinda cute i use to have a couple pet rats until i had to be in stl for 2 weeks and they killed eachother bc sissy decided it creeped her out to feed them but she fed my dogs at least:confused:
  9. Alma

    Alma GRCH Dog

    Ummm.. count me out. Thats animal that should stay in the wild. :eek:
  10. SouthernThistle

    SouthernThistle Good Dog

    Looks like a steroidal Beaver whose tail has been lobbed off - lol.
  11. orionzmom

    orionzmom Little Dog

    Looks to me like a supersized guinea pig! Heehehee...he's kinda cute. :D
  12. deadgam3

    deadgam3 Puppy

    that giant rat needs to meet a lion not a kity>>>Lol
  13. Zoe

    Zoe GRCH Dog

    I didn't realize they were that freakin huge! :eek:
  14. DeeDirtyDawg

    DeeDirtyDawg Good Dog

    this isn't the first time you've brought up your animals "at least" getting food...
    what the hell dude, you couldn't give them away or hire a pet sitter if someone else wouldn't feed them?
    that's a cruel way to die, and TOTALLY AVOIDABLE. whoever wouldn't feed them is sick.
  15. DoomsDayPits

    DoomsDayPits Little Dog

    yeah and i believe thats the first instance. She took care of the dogs but not my pet rats. They looked at her funny. Of course though she didnt tell us this until we got home. She said she was taking care of the animals and i swear i hate being referred to as dude. ANd yes she doesnt like anything that involves rodents hence no we only have snakes, dogs, and fish.
  16. Jrm1985Ohio

    Jrm1985Ohio Good Dog

    I think it's cute... though they do smell so I wouldn't want one.
  17. DeeDirtyDawg

    DeeDirtyDawg Good Dog

    what do they smell like?
  18. DoomsDayPits

    DoomsDayPits Little Dog

    I know rats have like a musky smell to them lol
  19. jeoestreich

    jeoestreich GRCH Dog

    That is so not my cup of tea. Would not like that as a pet thank you very much.
  20. acline

    acline Puppy

    wow thats amazing

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